Let’s muse together . . . a chorus for the still small voice
Interesting that reference to “a still small voice” appears but once in the Holy Scriptures, 1st Kings 19, though there’s some variation translation to translation — quiet, gentle whisper.
Its vivid setting feels powerful, even without his God telling Elijah to stop hiding in that cave.
Elijah, an extraordinary Hebrew prophet, pretty much outnumbered by soothsayers, Baal believers, is at that moment fleeing from threat of death. Elijah had felt God’s power at his command, yet he’s alone, terrified, hiding in a cave.
Finally after feeding and protecting him in his flight, God basically says, “Elijah what are doing in there? Get out and stand on the mountain.” I wonder if Elijah thought, “Now I’ll really see God and be safe.” Apparently before he could step out, there came a wind so strong it brought pieces of rock down around Elijah, then an earthquake; if that wasn’t startling enough, fire follows. Scripture, however, assures that God was not in the wind or the earthquake or the fire.
Then it comes — the still small voice.
Elijah wraps his cloak round and stands in the entrance of the cave. Again God asks, what are you doing here?
Elijah took courage in hand and from that point did many wonderful things: bringing a boy back to life, parting the Jordan River, seeing prophesies fulfilled — including a widow’s supply of meal and oil not running out.
Surely the Divine spoke not only to the Biblical Elijah (perhaps asking what are you doing here?). Wasn’t it that voice that burned in Moses out of the fiery bush, kept David from treating Saul in kind by seeking his life, inspired Ruth to leave her homeland and help trek Naomi back to Bethlehem; the Apostle Paul to give up his hatred and pursuit of Jesus’ followers and Ananias, Jesus’ follower, to let go his fear and help Paul?
Jesus the Christ indeed listened, heard, and responded to the eternal, infinite, still not so small voice. Revolutionizing healing. Redefining love.
Forever this voice speaks to the grand and the humble. Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, Mary Baker Eddy felt the nudge, maybe a blast of love, to brave society and do — hearing the whisper: this needs to be done, you can do it, that’s why you’re here.
Not always easy.
And think of the quiet beginnings that grow into community gardens. Of a woman who wanted to share meals in her church basement for those without, that grew to other churches pitching in — and ultimately became Rowan Helping Ministries with shelter, meals, classes, a crisis center, volunteers (rowanhelpingministies.org).
Or of the vision of Tenacity’s founder to bring Boston’s under-served city kids educational support, life skills, and tennis — pulling their families along with; Tenacity’s success story, in its 15th year, includes graduates of high school and college. Dedication. Accomplishment. Self-worth. (tenacity.org)
Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Christian Science church, established The Christian Science Monitor newspaper in 1908 — at the age of 89 — to bring family-friendly journalism. She wrote with delight and authority in science and health with key to the Scriptures: “The ‘still small voice’ of scientific thought reaches over continent and ocean to the globe’s remotest bound.” To everyone. For everyone.
When I’m suddenly in prayer, for children, presidents, my street, this promise often claims me — reminding that God’s divine mothering is present, the Presence, embracing — assuring my yearnings that everyone hears Truth’s message: safety, peace, health, self-worth; does feel Love divine stirring wrapping round, inspiring unselfed love. Lightening loads. Healing hurts.
Hearing with the Psalmist that ”they shall all be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bring-eth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” Ps.1:3
More than ever the far-reaching grace of this still small voice that is my God Mother Father Friend moves me . . . to peace. Nudging me to respond to the question “what are you doing here?
Patricia (Patti) Kadick lives in Salisbury and belongs to the Christian Science church on Statesville Boulevard. This first appeared on her blog: aroundabovebeneath.com